Posts Tagged ‘Elisha’

How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?—Romans 10:14

“Why should I hope?” asked the king of Israel in Elisha’s day (see 2 Kings 6:33). Why? Because God can make an army run away in fright. God can use unseen things to overcome the things that we can see (see 2 Kings 7:5-7).

God can rescue us and can turn away evil. God can spread a lavish banquet even in the presence of our enemies. God can bring salvation—light in darkness, comfort in grief, peace in bitterness, healing in brokenness, and strength in weakness.

Why should we hope? Because we have a shepherd who will lay down his life for his sheep in order to protect us. Because we have a Savior who can travel down into the deepest, darkest hell any of us can imagine and come out alive. Because there isn’t a single valley in the shadow of death that our shepherd cannot walk us through. Because he claims us as his own and will never let us go. That is why we can hope.

That is why we are prophets. We have been given the message of hope and are told to share it. How will others believe the good news unless they hear it, and how will they hear it unless they are told?

We have our assignment—go and bring the good news of Jesus Christ so that others too can have this hope.


Lord, our shepherd, thank you for your loving care. Help me to share the good news of your love with those who need to hear it. Amen.

“Which is easier: to say, Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, Get up and walk’?”—Matthew 9:5

Jesus’ healing of the paralyzed man is a miniature portrait of his entire ministry. Jesus cures not only diseases of the body but also the disease of the heart and soul. This points to the new life Jesus has come to bring to the world through his death and resurrection.

To ask for forgiveness is often seen as a sign of weakness. Such a humble posture doesn’t sit well with our view of our importance. Like Naaman in Elisha’s day (2 Kings 5), we don’t want to be at the mercy of someone else.

But forgiveness is the most powerful thing in the world. It can change not just our heart but also our entire way of life. It can go down to the deep and hidden roots of old and long-buried hurts.

Sometimes we think we can’t be forgiven for the terrible things we’ve done, but Jesus assures us there is nothing he cannot forgive or restore.

Forgiveness isn’t just something we ask for ourselves. Jesus reminds us that we too are to forgive others. It may even require us to take the first step and ask for forgiveness when we feel that only we have been wronged. But Jesus teaches us to pray, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4).

Jesus forgave a paralyzed man; God forgives us. Who is God asking us to forgive?


Dear God, help us to pray for forgiveness and to forgive, knowing that we can love because you first loved us. Amen.

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”—John 6:9

When Elisha received twenty barley loaves and some grain, he saw that by God’s power the food would feed a hundred people (2 Kings 4:42-44). Jesus took five barley loaves and two fish and fed a crowd of five thousand. At both meals there was so much that there were leftovers.

As in the days of Elisha, the Lord often did miracles to help with the personal needs of his people. Jesus, the bread of life, is concerned that we have not only food for our souls but also our daily bread. Sometimes we don’t appreciate how much God cares about our day-to-day needs.

But notice that Jesus does not feed the people by himself—he uses the disciples to distribute the bread and serve the people. As Jesus’ disciples today, we should expect the same—Jesus will use us to share in his many ministries of compassion. He is eager to bring us into his work. He not only wants to feed us but also wants us to help him feed others.

Of course, like the disciples, we will look at our resources and wonder how we can make any difference. Our supplies will seem small and inadequate.

But Jesus doesn’t care about that. Our call is to offer what we have to him and to trust that it will be enough. We are to stand by, ready to serve and to be surprised by what he does with the resources we have.